“Going wide” is used in the film industry to indicate a distribution strategy that puts the film in many theaters in many cities. Some films open first in limited release in just a few key cities as a test to see whether audiences respond well and spend their hard-earned bucks. Then the studio executives feel justified in the extra marketing expenses and print costs to support more geographies.
In many ways, web conferencing has been in a sort of limited release mode for more than a decade, centered on the United States. No disrespect to conferencing software vendors in other countries. Yes, I can name several vendors based in the UK and Europe. But they are still very few when compared to the many dozens based in America. And while the American vendors have always had some revenue from international customers, the bulk of their business has come squarely from the home turf.
I had taken a break over the holidays from my daily webinar news updates, and just did a marathon session of playing catch up. I was struck by the synchronicity of several releases concentrating on global web conferencing growth. Check out these titles:
BSNL [India] launches new reduced tariff packages for Web-Conferencing services
ACT Conferencing Expands Operations in Latin America
Arkadin Expansion into Korea to Become the Global Conferencing Service Provider with the Largest Footprint in Asia Pacific
Frost & Sullivan: Environment Policies and Virtualisation of Workplace Drive the Uptake of Web Conferencing Services in Europe
Timico [UK] launches Meet Me Now service
And there is this tidbit from a Frost & Sullivan report on web conferencing in Asia-Pacific:
“Revenues [from web conferencing software and services] in Asia-Pacific rose 24.9 percent in 2008 and are expected to grow a further 26.3 percent this year. Growth … is expected to peak over the next two years, clocking growth rates of 27 percent in 2010 and 2011.”
This should be a heck of a year for global growth in web conferencing. We’re finally going wide… open up that international marketing budget!